Some two dozen young archers took to the field at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground on Saturday February 25, 2017, for the inaugural Virgin Islands Archery Association’s National Archery in Schools Outdoor Shoot Out.
Competitors from many schools, both primary and high school, were in attendance. The the format allowed for some practice rounds followed by five sets of six arrows into a short distance target.
After the strictly controlled environment was ready, a whistle sounded, allowing the archers to approach the “firing” line, with “bows on toes” in readiness for the real deal.
The satisfying thud of arrow on target reverberated around the ground as the competition grew more and more intense with each set as contenders vied for the winning boy and girl slots in each age category.
In the Elementary Division, top girl was Donya Davis from Enis Adams and top boy was Keir Angelo Callangan, both scoring 158 points.
In the Middle School bracket, top girl was Anaya Findlay of Bregado Flax with 233 points, whilst Rayne Duff of Cedar School was top boy with 270 points.
Shania Daigneault of Elmore Stoutt High School won top honours for the girls in her bracket with 270 points and the top boy award went to Nathan Cousins of BFEC, who scored 285 points.
The top team award went to Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP).
Patrick Smith, the VIAA President, was happy the event had gone well for the first time and is looking forward to many more. “It went off better than expected. The kids were really enthused and are looking forward to the next one.”
The National Archery in Schools Programme is fully sanctioned by the Ministry of Education and is available to all schools in the Territory.
Mr Smith explained that most Physical Education teachers are already qualified to teach the sport in a safe and fun environment and, as funding allows, the programme will extend to all schools.